The Day The Pants Fell: Or, What Is Humor?

Today I decided I would write something humorous.

Bad news, right?


trying to write humorous(ly) when you are writing about what is humorous

is like dropping your baggy pants

at a librarians’ convention.


that was funny.

Or was it?

By which I mean:

someone once wrote,

probably John Cleese,

or maybe it was Joe Biden?

that certain words are just funny.

Like kumquat.

Now that is a funny word.

Or take Hugendubbel.

A bookstore here in Gutenberg Land.

Huggendubbel is funny.

Much funnier than Foyles of London.

Well, maybe not.

Especially if you are thinking of the situation of pants dropping,

one of the classic routines

that has to be done just right.

For example,

a huge pair of droopy drawers dropped for a moment and whisked back up

usually gets a laugh.

I assume with a Speedo the dropper would have to work harder.


dropping it slowly,

back turned,

to give an entire ring of outraged Keystone Cops

and old ladies with umbrellas

time to get into place to cover the action

as the Speedo-ed dropper is surrounded

and whisked off stage.

Then there was the case of the live model –

in a topless bathing suit –

on the Johnny Carson show years ago.

No one mentioned the live model was going to be a monkey.

And male at that.

My uncle stayed up until well after midnight waiting for that one.

And then, of course,

there are the dropped pants

in conversation:

Sorry old dear….pant…just out running….pant…what do you mean you are leaving me….pant.


Nothing compared to “Run For Your Wife,” but still.

And of course, there is the schtick where:

late at night

the woman is digging in her huge handbag,

looking for the house key.

The man impatiently pulls the bag away from her,

and starts rummaging.

A large book,

even better is a set of encyclopedias,

an umbrella, expandable if possible,

a large submarine sandwich,


a rope,

to be pulled and pulled and pulled on

until it becomes a wash line

with an entire line of clothes

from dainty frillies,

to a summer hat,

woman’s dress,



or course,

with the ubiquitous vw beetle sized

knee-length bloomers.

After which,

of course,

no one really needs to hear the final words,

do they,

as the gentleman tips his straw boater and disappears:


from a safe distance,

so your mother lives with you?

This blog was inspired by the Speedo company

dropping an athlete.

copyright 2016

Hooray For Crusader Rabbit

Reading a blog today,

by a mathematician called Joseph Nebus

who writes about, among other things,


especially cartoons about math,

my wheels suddenly started rotating.

And not the kind you have to have weighted and balanced at a garage.

No, this was one of those sudden deja vu things.


the fact that

mathematicians are usually the life of the party-

(always invite at least five, and you never get bored guests)

at least until someone finds out they are mathematicians

and starts the stories


“I flunked high school geometry. Hey, it just ain’t logical, man.”

Somehow, you expect them,

like the party stories m.d.s  tell,

where a normally sane person suddenly starts taking off their shirt

and expects them to look at a wart on their back,

to suddenly take out a piece of chalk and start a discussion on why their high school math teacher was wrong.

(It actually happened to us. Not once, but twice,

and with a felt tip-

in public,

and on those paper doilie coasters, thank heaven,

but when someone with a skewed look,

and a felt tip comes at you….)

so this is probably why mathematicians like math cartoons so much.

Actually, my husband Harald has one on his office door,

probably a far side,

of a muscle man at the beach

being ignored by a horde of gorgeous young women in bikinis,

all sitting in a circle around a blackboard

and drooling over a somewhat skinny




And that’s just the beginning.

But actually, the topic today,

since I sometimes get the feeling,

as a musician in a world of math geeks,

great people,

but math geeks,

I’m Penny on Big Bang Theory,

and the others are looking for someone to read the theorem, or lemma, or corollary,

of the day to…

So anyway,

yes, I do love cartoons.

Especially far side.

(My favorite is a lobster being held over a pot of boiling water,

and trying to click its ruby slippers

as it intones “there’s  no place like home, there’s no place like home.”

And again, hmmm…

As to the ones on tv,

I haven’t really watched for years.

Although, embarrassing as this is,

we actually went to see the  relatively recent film version of Mr  Peabody and Sherman.

Which were my favorite as a kid.

This wasn’t.

Maybe it’s because cartoons were basically forbidden in our “education first” house,

except for Peabody, and Crusader Rabbit,

who taught us history.

(Maybe that’s why I find history so funny today)

Or, of course Rocky and Bullwinkle,

who I used to sneak off to watch, only to find my Dad standing in the doorway laughing too.

And if you can find a better joke than a university called whadzamadda U*, let me know.

I actually thought for a while as a kid that when I grew up, I wanted to go there.

Little did I know I would grow up to be a P’can- University of the Pacific-

(Aka whazammada U? Bullwinkle would be proud)

copyright 2016


*it’s actually wossamotta- see comment below.


And Gutenberg Lived Here: How Do You Learn To Sing Ancient Chinese?

Sunday night was one of those moments musicians live for.

The concert venue’s atmosphere was perfect:

St Augustine’s:

A gorgeously renovated true baroque of a baroque church

(even if the local fire ordinances insisted the pyramid for lit votive candles,

right next to the ancient filigreed wooden railings,

has to have a smoke hood with exhaust fan that hangs over it

a bit like the one  over the grill of a large Argentinian steak house)

At least it was modern and tasteful.

The church, not the steak house.

Anyway, so this beautiful Augustinan Seminar church,

originally built for the Order of hermits of St Augustine,

(better pictures on wikipedia than I could shoot)

right near the main cathedral,

and only a short walk from all the templer order churches,

was last night the home of what serious vocal music lovers dream about:

After many nights of freezing in modern churches with flat sound or no atmosphere,

in this perfect perfect church was:

Singer Pur-

a sextett-

make that a singers’ dream sextett,

one female soprano,

five males-

(THREE Tenors- be still my heart- baritone, bass)

correct dignified concert black

and some of the best voices anywhere.

From Palestrina to Schutz to Bach, Brahms, and Richard Strauss,

from ancient Chinese-

sung in ancient Chinese-

to the American folk song Shenandoah,

in correct Engslish, of course,

they wowed the audience.

Who found it hard not to clap between linked pieces.

And to sing along to Sting and Billy Joel.

And most in their own arrangements.

German readers: it will be broadcast on SWR on the 11 of Feb next year.

Sad was only that the church was so small.

(And the organ gallery off limits due to a historical Stumm organ)

And perhaps also that the church was the right size for the number of those willing to show up.

Which was reflected in the fact that:

on the home we were stopped and asked,

by a very young and friendly team of police,

to take part in a drug and alcohol control inspection.

When they saw our clothes, and heard that we had been at a Singer Pur concert,

“church concert?”


and we were waved through.

And the best part was that,

on the way home,

I suddenly remembered.

The policewoman in the team had sung for a couple of weeks in the police choir I conducted

before she was transferred to Frankfurt

for further training.

Voices reaching out to voices.

Hey, you never know when a singer is going to cross your path.

copyright 2016

And Gutenberg Lived Here: Hey, Guys- So Which Genius Invented A Parsley Anniversary Already?

Today is our anniversary.

And a so-called round anniversary at that.

No, not parsley

which is twelve and a half.

(yes, I know, but believe it or not,


as apparently the only ones in the world,

I sincerely hope,

celebrate 12 1/2 by tacking a pound and a half of parsley on the bride

with a hatpin the size of a small sword.

And if you wonder where Dr Who got the idea for the celery boutoniere…)

So back to the anniversary.

Which also isn’t aluminum

(thirty-seven and a half.)

And what exactly does  that mean?

A box of aluminum foil?

the wing off a plane?

One of those aluminum pots

which can’t be used in a micro.

And which supposedly causes Alzheimer’s.

(So you can’t remember how many dishes you have washed in the last …..years?)

Not that it’s about things.

Well, sometimes it’s about things.

Like the famous toothpaste tube cap.

But mostly,

It’s about memories.

Like washing dishes.

After a party with forty friends.

And singing at the top of your lungs

while your husband sleeps the sleep of the host who keeps up with his guests in cups of the good stuff.

But it is also about cups of tea,

served, if you are lucky,

by a naked butler,

named Harald,

when you are too exhausted to get out of bed.

Or are celebrating a special remembrance day

with the good tea you dragged back from a trip to London.

Which reminds you each time you brew

of the bizarre little things that make up a marriage.

Like a huge lightning storm in a park where you took shelter in a tea room

and almost drowned in the stuff,

good as it was,

while trying to wait out the storm.

Working an extra concert you don’t really want to do

to pay for a present for a fifth anniversary.

Or taking a walk in the snow,

trying a shortcut,

and being chased through waist-high snow

by huge German shepherds

the dogs, not the people,

although the others also exist,

as you try to climb a fence to get out of a lumber yard

before the dogs make wood pulp out of you.

Or all the funerals,

and operations,

and cheap vacations as students

that turned out to be pure gold in the memory department,

and drew you both closer over the years.

And the math conferences where you are seated by languages you speak

and end up confused in six languages at the same time

because you don’t know the French for a Cauchy sequence.

Or the concerts, concerts, concerts.

In freezing churches,

freezing cathedrals,

over-heated halls,

standing in front of a huge majestic altar in long ski underwear,

(under floor-length black, of course)

since you are standing on an air vent leading to the unheated catacombs,

and hoping against hope you get done in time before something down there decides to explode.

Or one of the bishop’s hats (with skull)

drops on you.

Interesting, exotic, bizarre, weird,

sometimes tedious,

often at the edge of my strength,


all in all,

I think I’d do it all again.

Happy anniversary, love.

copyright 2016

And Gutenberg Lived Here: The Ides Plus Four

Now that I finally have the stalker off my blog,

I hope,

and the soul-searching to help a bud is done,

it’s time for a blog again about the good people of Gutenberg Land.


today is the ides plus four.

Yup, that’s right.

But since the Roman calendar was divided into kalends-the first of the month

nones, the seventh

and ides, the fifteenth

and everything was counted backwards and forwards from there

(by the way, did they run out of names for the twenty-first and twenty-eighth?

Wiki sayeth nought.)

So anyway, back to the ides.

Which, being three days off from modern times,

Wiki not saying in which direction,

may or may not actually be today.

Or a week ago.

Which would make it a nones not an ides

Still, since wiki says the fifteenth,

and we never mess with wiki,

the fifteenth it shall be.

A truly historical date,

for it was exactly at that historical moment that:

Duncan died in 1040-

you remember him-

Sweet Will Shakespeare’s old buddy.

And his successor Macbeth,

also a friend of Will’s ,

entered the happy hunting ground  in 1057

So sayeth wiki

Who knows such things.

So what does that have to do with Gutenberg land-

I can now hear you asking impatiently.

First of all, the ides is, or rather was, the feast of Minerva

The roman goddess of war.

And since there were a lot of romans here-

roman walls,

roman gates

a series of roman fortifications,

including a roman castellum

(and a theater, baths, an Isis temple, and a couple of ancient roman brothels)

as far as I can tell, all still in operation today,

not to mention the fact that the name roman is very popular here as a first name…

Yes, Gutenbergers live their history…


(why else would they constantly be digging up the streets except to keep all the cars from driving in the city- tradition, ta da)

or is it to prevent actual expansion of anything that might look like a rapid transit system

not that Cologne did so well as an example,

except for how to collapse an ancient church

and the entire rare books section of the city archives

while digging a subway-

So anyway,

here we are in Gutenberg land.

On the ides plus-four-day of August.

And thinking of sitting outside,

like the romans,

and drinking wine (or watered apple juice)

from the traditional local water glasses

(easier to hang on to when you have had a couple)

under a huge Elm or Linden tree

on a warm summer night,

eating “Roman bones”

(the largest of the spare ribs)

chatting with a few Romans-

and Hokans, and Kangs, Simseks and Pietros-

(we are international here-

and as outside table space is short, it is the local custom to share tables.)

And celebrate the final fall

(on 9 November 1989)

of the wall that separated the two peoples of Germany,

a wall built in 1961


the ides of August.

copyright 2016

On Humor, God, And Mojo

I got a mail today

From a sometimes member of my old writers’ consortium,

a very serious young man who is,

in my opinion,

and only from his writing, since we have never met,

a true seeker.

And with a beautiful soul.

He apparently

wants to ask me some questions.

Which I was so taken with I thought I would answer.

As best I can.

Which means get ready for flying herrings.


He wants to know:

what is the purpose of my life?

(somehow that sounds a bit like Douglas Adams to me:

life, the universe, and everything,

one of the most serious books ever written, in my humble opinion.)

And he also wants to know how I identify my mojo-

does anyone but someone my age use that any more?

Well, perhaps someone who has seen Austin Powers,

oops, more humor in the face of serious questions-)

why I do what I do

(is that Groucho Marx I hear calling- or maybe it was Kenneth Branach)


most important of all,

am I enjoying what I am doing.

Small hint:

**** yes!

(the stars stand for “Oh my”)

So what is the deal with these questions?

The basis of our being, so to speak.

Here is my take,

as best,

and believe it or not,

as seriously (for once) as I can give it.

My purpose in life?

I was given a life to simply be ready.

I have spent my entire life learning all I can

saying yes to life whenever I can

because I trust God

and know he will put me in a particular place at a particular time.

My “brand” reads teacher, musician, conductor, writer

in that chronological order.

During my time doing these things,

I have done my best to create a situation where people can grow.

Yes, there were conflicts.

People who are injured look for teachers,

or more often to voice teachers.

And then try to crawl in their window at 3 am to live with them.

This is not metaphorical.


You do what you can,

and then,

having given an impulse,

not usually from you,

but from what you are doing and why you are there,

you close the lines to protect yourself, gather your energy, and move on.

My personal experience:

People I taught languages/lit to,

or in my choirs,

stuck in bad jobs

have gotten hope again and moved on

and onward,

have gotten their personal lives in order-

Have put enough energy into something to be finally exhausted enough that the wheels stop turning (and slip-sliding) mentally,

and the real thinking starts.

If you put in energy, you get it back.

Basic law of the universe.

God to me, mine to them, theirs to others.

And occasionally back to me.

If you read, as I have, several times, the diaries of the puritans who settled America,

because I was “supposed to”

each time I learned something I was meant,

not supposed

to learn:


first, they trusted.


at the end of their lives,

they finally got given the real gifts,

the second of which,

was to understand exactly,

by rereading their diaries themselves,

why everything in their lives had to happen in exactly the way it did.

As for me

I trust.

As best I can.

Then I put in the energy from that trust into things I find important.

And have always gotten the energy back.

The mojo-

there’s that word again-

(by which I mean not some magic spell,

but energy, and joy-

call it joie de vivre-

to be put into whatever talent each of us has been given,)

is always there.

Usually more than you think.

I admit I am someone born with a high mojo level

but even I have been in spots-

ie after two emergency operations,

or a couple on family members-

where you just don’t know where the mojo will come from to save yourself.

Or others.

Who always seem to need you most at those moments.

In my case, it’s from God:

A kind nurse who moved me from a loud gabby impossble six bed ward

with a feeling that all chance of survival was slipping away, for example,

to a double room with a woman with worse injuries than mine,

and very strong religious beliefs.

And not necessarily my own.

Just solid.

And there.

We pooled strength.

And both survived.

And no, we are not both best friends.

Our lives are too different.

God put us together for the moment.


So now to why I do what I do.

Because I have to.

The opposite of light, flow, expanding, growing,

is death.

And, as a favorite gym teacher of mine,

who died at 38 after living a very good and happy life once said

“a rut is a shallow grave. Keep walking in it, and you’ll get there faster.”

And as to enjoying my life:

humor is what God gives us to handle the nasty bits while He is changing us.

One woman’s opinion.

Oh, and before I forget:

The enjoying my life thing….

**** yes!

copyright 2016

No, The N.orthern E.ngland, S.outhern S.cotland and I.rish E.levated Isn’t In Loch Ness.

Maybe it’s the weather.

Or my crazy family…students…landlord…musicians I work with…

you get the picture,

But lately, I’ve just been in the mood to write weird and unusual blogs.

Like the one about Irish duck feet.

And Disney.

Or Nobel prize winners who eat eggs from water glasses,

or the Sherlock Holmes phenomenon.

More about that later.

And I’ve made a powerful discovery.

Hey, I’ve been doing this internet thing all wrong.

I mean, to me the www was always a tool.

Like going to the library without actually having to go to the library.

As long as you checked facts with a real person occasionally.

Or do you really believe that anyone:

eats those microwave in 2 seconds meals,

has cats that really tap dance and play the piano,

thinks that the end of the world has come

due to

a. religious (fringe group like the “light bringers” and co) reasons,

b. scientific reasons (that no scientist ever really remembers putting out there, much less thinking about)

c. esoteric beliefs that are a whole lot funnier than the other two.

(or do you believe that if you buy a ukulele, or a rain-sound maker, or an XXL gong,

for a couple of hundred each,

you are going to shake or plonk your way into saving the world?)

Except financially, of course.

And here, the sad story of a once famous book printer,

on the ropes due to the new non-paper world,

and now making rain-sound makers for a living

springs to mind.

(Not that the sound isn’t nice,

but if you spend several hours per day turning the bamboo tube from side to side,

actually you may as well just ommm in a cloister for a while.

Forget changing the world.

And unless, of course, your gong playing drives the aliens back to their space ship,

and your ukulele playing drives the sane people back to where they are hiding from people who do this…

(And did anyone ever ask the Hawaiians what they think of weird Haolis tiptoeing through the tulips with their culture ?)

Actually, they probably laugh pretty hard.

So, anyway,

back to the weird things I found in my mailbox this morning

with the injunction

that this is something I really have to take notice of:

which brings me back to Sherlock Holmes.

Elementary, my dear Watson.

Which, as we all know, he never said.

Because it is just not true.

Nothing is elementary.

Except schools.

Or algebra.

So anyway,

what I finally deducted,

after much learned linguistic study

of what I am being sent

in my mailbox

or as an ad

in other social media,

is the result of a daily, if not continuous,

once around the block sweep of my writing

by a computer.

Which, as we all know makes no mistakes.

And therefore:

sends me ads for Nordic sweaters

when I write about working at the Nobel factory near Cologne

or medical advice for diabetics

when I mention I cut the sugar content

in a recipe

or an offer for a half-price subscription to the Little Whizzy Georgia morning Herald

when I mention my husband Harald.

And I shudder to think what they would do

if they knew what his name really is.

And then, of course, there is:

Angelfood cake-

an invitation to an esoteric fan club for the angel Raphael.

Dog biscuits


Five o’clock tea at the Savoy.

With a ten percent off coupon if you order crustless bread and watercress.

Not that I don’t love the ads.

Who wouldn’t love writing about the N.orthern E.ngland S.outhern S.cotland and I.rish E.levated trains

and getting a list of hotels

in Loch Ness.

No, what I really object to,

is that I didn’t realize before

that I just am not using the tool right.

For example:

this is a post on:





the N.E.S.S.I.E



and world peace.

So just send me my Nobel prize,

(or at least a creative blogger award,)

for world peace,

or maybe for medicine,

through the strategic use of laughter

to take the mickey out of

a world gone ever more

Norwegian sweater ad,

Alien bongo players,

Cats Cats Cats, yes, they are naked, and they are still dancing…

to me here at Quahog,

(or the editorial office of the Morning Herold of Little Whizzy Georgia,)


since I have now planted the seeds,

ie the little cues that hopefully will get things picked up

by that great computer sweep in the sky,

I also hope to find

enough cash from the Nobel

or the creative blogger award,

to finally take a trip on the NESSIE

with stop-over at a just north of Edinburgh

Highland esoteric camp

for alien luring, gong-playing, and ukulele,

fish and chips in Hull or thereabouts,

a quick sweater buying stop near Cork,

and, of course, a quick stop in London,

(the NESSIE is a partner of London’s Dockland Light Railway)

for cream tea at the Savoy.

(With ten percent off ticket.)

Keep them computers movin guys.

Hey, a girl can dream, right?

copyright 2016

The New Technology: Bowling For Partners

I keep swearing to myself I will stop reading the geek news,

but somehow it is just so darned entertaining.

Even for those of us who don’t,

like my scientist husband Harald,

roll on the floor laughing and beating our fists into the carpet

because half of the stuff the “physicists” write on the blackboard

in photographs for the lay reader,

or during sci-fi films,

or t.v. programs,

hasn’t even the most minor connection to the real world they work in,

(apparently, from what he says, it’s like pretending you are cooking

when the ingredients are soap and wet toilet paper.)

So anyway,

in this case,

the techies at Pokemon Go,

no, I won’t write another blog on them,

this is about something else,

have now decided to make an app,

(still not about Pokemon go)

which pairs up Pokemon fans for one free  date

(really, I promise, it’s not about Pokemon go)

before they start charging for the privalege.-

What else ?

Which, of course got me thinking…

Uh oh, here it comes again.


If there are companies that link people,

(THIS is what it is about)

and companies that link people in speed-dating situations,

and companies that link those who follow a technological game that from now on shall remain nameless,

why shouldn’t someone

(And here I enter my copyright to the idea. Mr Zuckerberg, please feel free to make me an offer…)

that what we really need, is

ta da…

speed dating by hobby.

For example.

Assuming, on a Friday night, you wish to go bowling.

You go down to the lane,

pay an extra five dollar fee,

and voila…

speed bowling.

Each woman is assigned a lane.

The men move at the sound of the bell.

There is a ten minute interval between frames

for the couple to talk.

At the end of nine frames,

the couples who wish to continue are paired for bowling.

And more discussion.

Where it goes from there is their business.

But, of course, it doesn’t really have to be bowling.

Fly fishers could meet on Saturday morning,

the women have a fixed place on the bank,

the men move up and  down stream.

A half hour of fishing, a ten minute talk,


Saturday afternoon:

robot wars.

The women and men are paired off singly  in robot wars.

The goal being to destroy the other’s robot,

after which the winner has to help the other repair the damage.

Discussion follows, and voila….

On Sunday…

A wedding with robot attendants,

each controlled by a bride’s maid,

or groom’s man.

As to the hen night,

or bachelor party,


I think, here, it might be better to let the veil of christian charity

drop over the entire situation.

(For me, the concept of a robot trying to jump out of a cake is somehow just too grotesque.)

As to the wedding, however,

perhaps they could have a triple wedding-

with the drinks provided by the bowlers,

and the fish main course by the trout fishers.

(With shrimp cocktail from the bait supply store for the other anglers they know.)

And bread balls filled with baked beans.

I would suggest avoiding the throwing of worms,

or the release of flies

as a symbol of abundant fertility.

It could perhaps be excused as part of the world heir (and a spare?) only program.

Oh, and the dancing.

I can easily picture the fun of the dancing afterwards,

with couples in bowling shoes,

and waders,

and anti-static shoes

all dancing to everything

from techno hip-hop,

to “I’ve been framed,”

to the wonderful lyrics

of Isaac Walton’s “the angler”

as the bridal dance.

As to the cake, though,

although I could easily picture the three layers

each with its favorite bowling balls and pins,

(fertility symbols?)

different types of joyfully leaping fish,

(to wish them joy)

and favorite types of robot warriors,

(perhaps so they fight with robots and not with each other?)

And, as the bowlers and fishermen cross pins,

and angler rods,

to form the tunnel the couple must walk through,

and the robots hand round the champagne glasses,

the couples move to…

sorry, but somehow the thought of a robot with a cakeknife….

copyright 2016

The Irish Duck Foot Versus The Magic Kingdom. Discrimination?

“I read the news today, oh boy.”

Yup, geek news will get you every time.

Like the note I found in my mailbox this morning

about the fact that Disneyworld, aka the Magic Kingdom

has patented a recognition system


After which,

ie having pattern-recognized

your tiny little size 46

sneakered tootsies,

you will receive a  visit

from your own personal

robot greeter.

Who will note all your wishes.

And follow you around to make your stay better.


It’s not enough I have to talk to ducks, chickens, a giant dog named Pluto,

not to mention the ballet-dancing hippos,

and the,

in my opinion,

over-eager greeters in the hotel,

(although they could do a bit more with the barbershop quartet.

Like a group in Tomorrowland singing modernistic music, or in Fantasyland with the themes from the great kids’ Disney movies.


I want to be like you.”

And maybe with one voice left out,

like in karaoke

so the lucky twenty-first person across the doorsill

gets to sit in.

Now that would be entertainment.)

But not foot recognition, thank you very much.

And from a robot, no less.

I mean, really…

has anyone reading this actually


seen a robot

with a pretty foot?

Or an interesting one?

Or one I would like to look at?

(please, don’t answer)

Not to mention the fact that the things scare me.

Like the other day when a strange robot thing tried to pick up my dishes

at a certain birdishly fixated fast food restaurant.

And scared me,

and an old lady’s cock-a-poodle

to heck and back.


Or are the ones in the fast food places just part of the government’s plan

to make us eat healthier?

And then, of course, there is the problem with the feet.

Oh my Yes.

The feet.

As someone who was discriminated in highschool

for being uhm

athletically challenged-

(I still think archery ought to be the national sport)

I now am starting to feel like I am back in high school

what with this foot recognition thing and all.

And yes,

if you really want to know why,

it has to do with the Irish duck foot.

Genetically bred,

since the time of Brian Boru,

through continual dousings

with the “Irish fog”

necessary to maintain the forty shades of green

written up in every Irish tourist pamphlet,

and long beloved by tourists

as a favorite remembrance of the gentle isle,

and the gentle rain,

the Irish duck foot-

short toes and wide at the front

and pointed at the back,

perfect for walking on wet bogs-

has long been a problem for the European Union.

What with its inability to fit into elegant Italian slippers

set at high prices for a better trade exchange,

or Dutch wooden clogs,

not that I particularly miss clonking around on marble floors

or being my own band when trying to ride an escalator.

Or trying to fit above-mentioned Daisy duck feet-

bet you didn’t notice Daisy and Donald were Irish, did you?-


those felt slidy house-shoe things they give you at museums,

the rubber thingies you are supposed to wear at pools, saunas, and spas,

bowling shoes…

The thing is,

in the general scheme of footwear,

one size does not fit all.


if you get a pair of “just slide these on please”

that fit at the toes,

you will slide out the back.

No heel bones, remember.

Or, to make it simple:

and collect my brownie points for educator of the year,

Just take five cocktail weenies,

hold them together at one point,

and let them splay out at the front.

That’s what the picture looks like on my birth certificate.

(When I was born, they inked the baby’s foot right after birth,

so the parents don’t take the wrong child home.

I’ve been traumatized ever since.)

And now, a robot,

who has never been through the trauma of the Irish duck foot,

wants to make a digital imprint of my foot,

for the purpose of being my soul-ly challenged “friend”

Not that I don’t have a heart for robots, of course.

But maybe they could be better utilized doing the dishes in one of the cafes,

or cleaning up the  droppings

from the dogs,

and parade horses, etc

they scared trying to take pictures of their paws.

Or hooves.

Trying to find a friend.

Maybe what we really need a lonely robot’s club.

copyright 2016